Things You Didn't Know About Severus Snape If You've Only Seen The Movies

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Severus Snape is easily the most complex character in the Harry Potter series, whose loyalties are revealed only by the climax of the final book. While Alan Rickman's portrayal of the Hogwarts Potions Master is iconic, it still doesn't give the full picture of the character. Snape from the books has a much larger backstory that the films don't dive into, and he also has a larger note of menace and bitterness to his personality that moviegoers will be surprised to learn about.

It's likely that fans will either be more sympathetic toward Snape or consider him less of a tragic figure after they find out significant details about him from the source material.


  • 1
    243 VOTES

    Hagrid Overhears Snape And Dumbledore's Plan To Slay The Latter

    Hagrid Overhears Snape And Dumbledore's Plan To Slay The Latter
    Photo: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban / Warner Bros. Pictures

    Hagrid shares with Harry his take on a conversation he hears involving Snape and Dumbledore. The pair takes to the outskirts of the Forbidden Forest to discuss their plans of eliminating Dumbledore so that Draco Malfoy would be spared from committing an act of murder to damage his soul.

    Snape isn't inclined to slay Dumbledore and argues with him over what would happen to his soul - Dumbledore assures him it would be be an act of mercy because he is going to perish anyway from the curse of the Horcrux. 

    Their entire conversation is shrouded in mystery until Harry sees it in the Pensieve in Deathly Hallows, while Hagrid relays what he heard in Half-Blood Prince. Hagrid only hears their raised voices and assumes Dumbledore and Snape are in argument, which makes Harry suspicious of Snape at the time.

    243 votes
  • 2
    390 VOTES

    Snape Reveals His Dark Mark Tattoo To The Minister For Magic As Proof Of Voldemort's Return

    Snape Reveals His Dark Mark Tattoo To The Minister For Magic As Proof Of Voldemort's Return
    Photo: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince / Warner Bros. Pictures

    Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge refuses to believe Harry after the latter returns from his battle against Voldemort in Goblet of Fire. Although everyone from Albus Dumbledore to Minerva McGonagall argues in Harry's favor, the boldest move is made by Snape.

    Snape rips the sleeve of his robe open to reveal the Dark Mark he carries from his days as a Death Eater - it stands as proof that Voldemort has indeed come back because the Dark Mark is clearer than ever.

    Fudge has no retort to Snape's argument, and everyone present has newfound respect for Snape for the way he admitted to such a dark secret.

    390 votes
  • 3
    268 VOTES

    Harry Witnesses Certain Other Sad Memories From Snape's Childhood

    Harry Witnesses Certain Other Sad Memories From Snape's Childhood
    Photo: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix / Warner Bros. Pictures

    Snape's Occlumency lessons with Harry are a disaster overall but Harry does do well on one occasion. Here, Harry deflects Snape's spell with a shield charm and ends up witnessing memories from Snape's childhood.

    The memories feature Snape as a young boy crying while his father yells at his mother, a teenage Snape all alone in his bedroom in a depressive state, and a young Snape failing to mount a broom while another girl laughs at his failure.

    Harry realizes these are memories that Snape doesn't want him to see when the latter becomes agitated with what Harry's become privy to about his past.

    268 votes
  • 4
    301 VOTES

    Snape Uses Legilimency To Learn How Harry Knows About The Half-Blood Prince

    Snape Uses Legilimency To Learn How Harry Knows About The Half-Blood Prince
    Photo: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix / Warner Bros. Pictures

    Moaning Myrtle calls for help after Harry injures Malfoy with the Sectumsempra curse and Snape arrives to heal Malfoy. Snape doesn't let Harry go and recognizes the curse as the one he had invented in his school days.

    Harry realizes Snape is using Legilimency against him when the latter asks Harry how he came to know of the spell - Harry's mind instantly goes to the Half-Blood Prince's book and Snape orders him to fetch it back.

    Harry passes Ron's book as his own after hiding the Half-Blood Prince's copy in the Room of Requirement, but Snape knows by then that his old Potions book is in Harry's possession. 

    301 votes
  • 5
    257 VOTES

    Snape Advises Igor Karkaroff To Flee And Avoid Voldemort's Wrath

    Snape Advises Igor Karkaroff To Flee And Avoid Voldemort's Wrath
    Photo: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire / Warner Bros. Pictures

    Igor Karkaroff pursues Snape's guidance a lot more in the novel version of Goblet of Fire. During the Yule Ball, Harry overhears Snape advising Karkaroff to flee for his life since the latter believes Voldemort is going to return.

    Their conversations are contextualized further in Deathly Hallows, where Harry watches the memory of Snape relaying information to Dumbledore. It's revealed that Snape and Dumbledore were already braced for Voldemort to come back to power based on what Karkaroff claimed.

    Karkaroff's cowardice is contrasted with Snape's bravery, who proclaims he has no intention of fleeing - this leads to Dumbledore suggesting that Snape should have been in Gryffindor rather than in Slytherin.

    257 votes
  • 6
    230 VOTES

    Snape And Sirius Nearly Get Into A Physical Altercation At The Order Of The Phoenix's Headquarters

    Snape And Sirius Nearly Get Into A Physical Altercation At The Order Of The Phoenix's Headquarters
    Photo: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban / Warner Bros. Pictures

    12 Grimmauld Place is used as the Order of the Phoenix's official headquarters, which is where Sirius lives. Snape pays a visit to tell the latter that their lessons in Occlumency will begin when Harry returns to Hogwarts after Christmas vacation.

    Sirius refuses to leave because he doesn't trust Snape and he doesn't like the way he talks down to Harry. Their animosity begins to flare up further when Snape taunts Sirius for being useless to the Order as a result of his hiding - it leads to a confrontation where both men nearly come to blows.

    The potential fight is interrupted when the Weasleys enter the house. This turns out to be the last time Snape and Sirius ever meet.

    230 votes